The News in Brief from The Dominican.net News Desk
Roseau – May 5, 2009 Libya to provide assistance to Dominica
Prime Minister Skerrit is reporting that the Libyan government has agreed to provide funds for the building of a primary school in Thibaud, Dominica.
He was reporting on his return from an official visit to the oil rich North African country. The Prime Minister also said that a team of officials will from Libya will visit Dominica in may to hold further discussions on several joint projects between Dominic and Libya.
Among the proposals is for joint venture investment in tourism, water management and agro-processing. The Libyan government will also provide EC $1 million to a local charity “Yes We Care” program.
Roseau – May 5, 2009 Two men rescued at sea in separate incidents
Portsmouth businessman Desmond Deroche is counting his blessings following his rescue after spending five days adrift in the ocean.
Deroche left his home on Sunday on a fishing trip but strong winds forced his small boat off course and he was left at the mercy of the seas. He told the local press that he prayed constantly and after three days several birds landed on his boat.
He was able to catch one and this was the only food he had during that time. On the fifth day, he was spotted more than 145 miles east of Martinique by crew members on an oil tanker and taken to shore. He later returned to Dominica.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard says it has rescued a New Jersey man whose boat caught fire in the Caribbean.
The 45-year-old man from New Jersey was alone in a 71-foot boat when the fire broke out Sunday. The man's name was not released.
He was apparently hauling farm equipment from Florida to Dominica.
He managed to send out an emergency distress signal as he abandoned his vessel and jumped into a life raft about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the Puerto Rican town of Cabo Rojo. A passing tanker arrived first followed by the Puerto Rico-based Coast Guard cutter Cushing.
The man was taken to Puerto Rico and did not require hospitalization. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Roseau – May 4, 2009 Dominican athletes selected for training in Germany
Athletes from Dominica will be one of four teams from Caribbean nations benefiting from German assistance in the build up to the 2009 Berlin World Championships later this year.
Dominica’s track and field athletes, along with teams from Anguilla, Trinidad and Tobago, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, have been invited for training camps in Germany prior to the August 15-23 World Championships.
The Germans have invited 38 participating national athletics associations for the "extensive, high-profile international preparatory training camps", with the hosts bearing all costs, including accommodation.
The Dominican athletes will be together with athletes from Anguilla and St Vincent, in South-West Germany while the Trinidad and Tobago athletes will camp in the city of Erfurt in Central Germany.
Tripoli – May 4, 2009 Prime Minister Skerrit wraps up visit to Libya
Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is wrapping up a visit to Libya where he met with this country’s leader Khadaffi and Secretary General of the People's Committee in Tripoli.
The Prime Minister renewed his congratulations to Muammar al-Khadaffi for his selection as chairman of the African Union (AU), and praised his efforts to consolidate the march of the AU , as well as his endeavors to promote relations between Latin America and African countries.
He underlined that the Caribbean and Latin American states are looking forward to Khadaffi’s visit in the near future specially to attend the second Africa Latin America Summit.
The leaders also discussed cooperation prospects between Libya and Dominica and touched on means to promote cooperation in the field of investment , education and the environment to serve the interest of both countries.
Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines is also in Libya to hold discussions with its leaders. St Vincent became only the second English speaking country, along with Dominica, to join the Bolivarian Alternative to the Americas (ALBA) in April of this year.
St John – April 29, 2009 Dominica to hold pair of one-day international games in July
The West Indies Cricket Board has announced that Dominica will host its first One–Day International as the schedule for the upcoming Digicel Series 2009 tours by India and Bangladesh was unveiled.
Dominica’s renovated Windsor Park Stadium will become the region’s newest international venue when it stages a pair of One–Day International matches against Bangladesh in July.
The Windsor Park ODIs will be played on Sunday, July 26 and Tuesday, July 28. Bangladesh are scheduled to arrive in the Caribbean on June 30 and play Test matches in St Vincent and Grenada before the ODI series.
Arnos Vale stages the first Test from July 9–13 and the second Test is set for Grenada’s National Stadium from July 17–21.
After the two ODIs in Dominica, Warner Park in St Kitts will stage the third match on July 31 and the T20 International on August 2.
Before Bangladesh arrive the Windies will face India a four–match ODI series. Jamaica and St Lucia will share the ODIs against India, with Sabina Park staging the first two matches on Friday, June 26 and Sunday, June 28 before games three and four at the Beausejour Stadium on Friday, July 3 and Sunday, June 5.
Roseau – April 20, 2009 Two men charged for murder and Police investigate another death
McKenzie Mackie Alexander of Mahaut who was shot last week has died at the Princess Margaret Hospital after hanging on for more than one week.
McKenzie was shot in the chest, abdomen and thigh. Police at the time held two young men Dany Joseph of Pottersville and Adler Phillip of Canefield in connection with the shooting. They have since been charged with murder in McKenzie’s death.
Mckenzie is survived by his four children, and his girlfriend is reportedly pregnant with his fifth child.
This is the fourth recorded murder in Dominica so far for 2009.
Meanwhile, Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 43 year old William Carbon of Trafalgar.
Carbon was found dead at the Botanic Gardens over the weekend. He was transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital and a post mortem will be performed.
A preliminary investigation revealed no external physical wounds on the body.
Roseau – April 20, 2009 Dominica’s advance to volleyball World Championships halted by St Lucia
The St. Lucian volleyball team denied Dominica a ticket to the second round in the World Volleyball Championships in Jamaica, defeating the visitors 3 – 0 in a tightly contested match. Scores in the match, 25-22; 31 -29 and 25 - 19.
Coach Robert Guiste expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance although he felt that they could have done better. "It was a tough match, both teams played extremely well and lived up to the hype. Team St. Lucia wanted it more and so they took it. I guess the better team won tonight."
St. Lucia will advance to the second round of the tournament, which will be held in Jamaica. They will now move up to NORCECA group D to face Mexico, Haiti, Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and hosts Jamaica.
Roseau – April 18, 2009 Men’s volleyball team improves to 3 – 0 in world qualifiers
The Dominican team was in total commnd when they took on Grenada.
The Dominican men enjoyed their third consecutive straight set win in the World Volleyball Championship 1st round qualifier at the Beausejours Indoor facility in St. Lucia on Friday night, when they came up against Grenada.
Scores in the match were:25-12;25-21;25-19. Leading scorers for Dominica were David Toussaint with 15 points, Ronald Bruno with 10, Reginald Thomas with 7; and Kenworth Bedminister with 6 points.
For Updated scores and stories go to the Dominica Amateur Volleyball Association website at dominicavolleyball.com
Roseau – April 17, 2009 Dominica volleyball on the rise as teams compete in world championships
Dominica continues to do well in volleyball with the sport gaining popularity on the island. With that has come success for particularly the men ‘s volleyball team at the regional level.
Currently, both of the national volleyball teams are participating in the World Volleyball Championships 1st round qualifier- the men in St. Lucia and women in St. Martin.
The men’s team appears poised to go to the second round as they take on St Lucia in the finals this Sunday. The winner will go on to the second round in Jamaica next month.
Updated scores and stories can be found on the Dominica Amateur Volleyball Association website at dominicavolleyball.com
April 14, 2009 – Mahaut Shooting victim in Mahaut fights for his life
McKenzie Mackie Alexander of Mahaut is fighting for his life at the Princess Margaret Hospital after being shot six times in that village.
Doctors say he is in serious condition after undergoing more than six hours of surgery. McKenzie was shot in the chest, abdomen and thigh.
Police say they are holding two young men from that same village in connection with the shooting. No motive was given for the shooting.
This is the most serious incident involving the use of firearms since a young man of Salisbury was shot in March during a botched robbery.
April 14, 2009 – Roseau Economy grows by 3.2 percent in 2008
The authorities in Dominica are reporting that the economy grew by 3.2 percent during 2008 following the 1.7 percent growth in 2007.
Prime Minister Skerrit credited his housing revolution for driving much of the growth, which was led by the construction sector. He said that his government’s policy of sourcing local supplies in building the homes contributed to the economy’s better performance.
The agriculture sector also recovered in 2008 following the passage of Hurricane Dean in 2007.
Only Grenada is said to have performed better than Dominica’s economy during 2008.
April 14, 2009 – Portsmouth Ian Douglas to contest next election on Llabour ticket
Tourism minister Ian Douglas will contest the Portsmouth constituency for the ruling Dominica Labour Party in the next general elections.
There was widespread speculation in Dominica that Douglas would follow other MPs Urban Baron, Kelly Graneau and John Fabien who have all indicated that they will not contest in the next election constitutionally due for May 2010.
The news that Douglas would contest the next election was delivered by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at a public meeting in Portsmouth where he praised the work of the Portsmouth MP.
The Prime Minister used the opportunity to categorically deny that elections will be held in May 2009, but did not indicate when they will be held.
Election observers in Dominica believe that elections will be held well before they become due in may 2010.
Roseau – April 9, 2009 Son of former Prime Minister named Dominica Magistrate
Magistrate Benhanzin is congratulated by President of Dominica Nicholas Liverpool (Photo courtesy Sean Douglas.
Dominica now have a new magistrate to help address the chronic shortage of magistrates on the island. He is Tiyani A. Behanzin, son of Roosevelt Douglas, former prime minister Dominica.
Born in Canada, Behanzin subsequently moved to the United Kingdom where he pursued his legal studies. He was sworn in at the President’s office in Roseau.
Benhanzin, who has not lived in Dominica before now said he was returning to serve the people of Dominica because this was the right thing to do.
He pointed to the public service of his family members including that of his father, his uncle Mike Douglas who served as a government minister, and his cousin Ian Douglas currently serving as tourism minister.
Roseau – March 31, 2009 Dominica to host second annual hike fest
Dominica, dubbed the ‘Nature Isle of the World’ will host its second annual Hike Fest in May, giving visitors the chance to discover some of the country's best hikes and scenery.
The month long festival is organized by the DHTA (Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association) and DDA (Discover Dominica Authority) in conjunction with hiking clubs throughout the region.
The trails will vary in levels of difficulty, and range from easy waterfall walks to tough hikes such as the Boiling Lake Hike - one of Dominica's most demanding trails, which takes hikers on a six mile round trip up the mountains and through the rainforest to the world's largest boiling lake.
Dominica was the first ever country to be granted the Green Globe certification; the Morne Trois Pitons National Park was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Caribbean, and attractions such as the Rainforest Tram, which transports visitors high above the canopy, have helped fund conservation efforts throughout the Caribbean.
The guided walks will cost from $40.00 ECD per person, which includes return transport to accommodation, water and a souvenir cap. Visitors arriving in the first week of May will also be able to take part in the island's first Eco-fest, which will highlight some of the island's latest green initiatives and give people the opportunity to take part in village homestays and other green activities.
St Joseph- March 19, 2009 Three juvenilles plead guilty to Salisbury robberies
Police in Dominica have provided additional information on the spate of robberies in the Salisbury area that terrorized residents during the months of January and February.
Three young men, all age sixteen and students of the St Joseph Secondary School appeared before a St Joseph magistrate on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to several counts of aggravated robbery. They will appear in court next week for sentencing.
According to the police, the young men dressed up as women and used other disguises including black outfits. The ring leader was often referred to as the Black Ninja because of his preferred style of a black hood and black outfit used when committing the robberies.
Interestingly, the young robbers also orchestrated a few robberies among their friends and relatives and reported those to the police to help throw the cops off their tracks.
Police thanked the villagers for their vigilance and for helping in the capture of the three young men.
Roseau – March 16, 2009 Castle Bruce man fined EC $ 203 000 for importing drugs
Forty-five year old Lawrence Lockhart of Castle Bruce has been fined EC $203 000 (US $ 75 000) for attempting to import more than 470 kilos of marijuana and 28 kilos of cocaine into Dominica. The goods were valued at close to EC $2 million.
Lockhart was apprehended by the Dominica coast guard as he attempted to bring the drugs into the country by boat. He was also charged for having in his possession a firearm. He would need to pay most of the fine by December 2009 or spend at least three years in jail.
In other Police news, Ken Wade of the Carib Territory was fined EC $1800 for the malicious wounding of representative for the Carib Territory, opposition MP Claudius Sanford. He would have to pay EC $1 400 straight away or face four months in jail.
Anosvale, St Vincent – March 16, 2009 St Vincent may become a republic
A constitutional drafting committee has been charged with drawing up a new constitution for St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Under the new constitution, the country would do away with the current West Minster system of government and become a republic headed by a President.
There will no longer be a prime minister but rather a president elected directly by voters. Residents will also be able to vote directly representatives in the country’s Parliament.
The constitution is also expected to maintain the death penalty, a position which is already drawing criticism from the European Commission.
St-Thomas – March 9, 2009 Dominican youth shot and killed in St Thomas
Police say that Phillip John George, 28, was killed and two others were wounded in front of the Lexus Adult Entertainment Nightclub in Estate Smith Bay on St. Thomas Saturday, in an apparent exchange of gun fire. One victim was shot in the left leg and the other was grazed by a bullet to his head.
George is believed to be the son of Tiboy George from Mahaut. Unconfirmed reports say that the shooter is another Dominican, but Police in St. Thomas have not confirmed that report and say that investigations are continuing.
They are asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Major Crime Detectives at 715-5522 or 715-5514. The community can also call Crimes Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-TIPS.
A few weeks ago, another Dominican youth, Steve Mingo was shot and killed in Antigua. Police there have charged two twenty year olds and a fifteen year old in that murder.
Roseau – March 5, 2009 PM Skeritt meets with Chinese communist party leader
Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit met with Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Tuesday, with both voicing satisfaction with steadily growing bilateral ties.
While the two countries are geographically far apart, the Chinese people have always cherished friendly feelings toward the Dominican people, Wang said during the meeting held in Roseau, Dominica's capital city.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations five years ago, bilateral ties have grown ever closer, Wang said. The establishment of diplomatic ties conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, he added.
Since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 2004, bilateral relations have been growing steadily and are now at their best in history, Prime Minister Skerrit said.
He expressed thanks to the CPC, the Chinese government and people for offering disinterested assistance to Dominica over the past years and reiterated that the Dominican government will steadfastly adhere to the one-China policy.
Wang also met with Dominican President Nicholas Liverpool and Parliament Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights.
Wang was in Dominica at the invitation of the Dominica Labor Party.
Roseau – March 3, 2009 Marpin TV sold to US concern and Dominica Social Security
Marpin 2K4 General Manager Walter Maude (L) and Chairman Nigel Wardle. Photo courtesy Edona JnoBaptiste Dominica News Online.
Marpin TV is now Marpin 2K4 after the telecommunications company was purchased for EC $14.1 million by a United States company and the Dominica Social Security (DSS). Seventeen employees were made redundant as the new management took over.
The company is now headed by chairman Nigel Wardle and general manager Walter Maude. Walde told a news conference in Roseau that the new company would inject millions into the operations and focus on customer service.
General Manager, Walter Maude expressed his admiration for the technical staff saying that they are “craftsmen in this industry. They’ve succeeded in making so much work with so little.” He said that he was convinced that “with the right investments Marpin 2K4 could rival any telecommunications firm in the world.”
The company’s board members are Swinburne Lestrade, St. Bernard Sebastien, Mickey Hubert Joseph, Grayson Steadman, Bob Blanchard and Nigel Wardle.
Marpin TV was founded in the early 1980s by Dominican Ron Abraham a UK returnee, who almost single handedly built the company into a first class operation making television cable services available throughout Dominica. In 2001 he successfully challenged the Cable and Wireless telephone monopoly, which resulted in the sector being liberalized.
However, he was subsequently denied a license by the Labor Party government to offer telephone services and in 2004 was forced out of the company he founded.
Marpin is the second locally owned company to be sold to United States concerns. In 2003 DOMLEC, the country’s lone electricity company was sold by government to a US based company with the DSS holding minority shares.
St Johns – February 28, 2009 Three youths charged in murder of Dominican
Police in Antigua have arrested and charged three Antiguan youths in the murder of Dominican Steve Mingo.
The three; Antonio Smith and Trevor Boston, both 20 and a 15-year-old made their first appearance before a local magistrate in Antigua on Friday. They stood silently as the charges of murder and conspiracy to murder were read by the magistrate. They were advised that they do not have to enter a plea to the indictable charges at this stage, and the proceedings were adjourned.
Police say that the men shot Mingo in his bed after he had earlier reported them to police for breaking into his home and stealing his personal belongings. After he was shot several times, Mingo managed to get up and run outside of his house, where he died in the middle of the road.
Roseau – February 25, 2009 Carnival celebrations marred by violence
Observers in Dominica are hailing the Real Mas 2009 as a resounding success despite isolated incidents of violence.
In the most serious report, 37 year old Cuthbert Xavier of Grand bay was gunned down by a yet unknown assailant. Police report that a young man of that village is helping them in their investigations.
In the Northern town of Portsmouth, ten revelers were injured in a shooting incident. In the resulting melee, several persons were taken to hospital for treatment. Five were released and five were transferred to the Princess Margaret Hospital.
La Plaine, a village in the South eastern part of Dominica also witnessed some violence when a 15-year old school boy was stabbed by an adult from that village. He is currently recovering at the Princess Margaret Hospital while police search for his known attacker.
Carnival celebrations this year saw a large increase in visitors from Guadeloupe and Martinique, some already in Dominica as they escape the deteriorating situation relating to the general strike in those countries.
Despite the violence, most observers report that this year was a marked improvement over last year when there were much more reports of violence.
Roseau – February 23, 2009 Sixteen tourists injured in truck accident
A truck carrying 16 tourists have overturned in Giraudel. Police are reporting that at least two are in critical condition and all 16 were transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital.
Early reports indicate that the driver lost control while negotiating a hill on his way to Roseau. Witnesses say that the truck driver hit into a wall surrounding the home of Francis Sevarin before it flipped.
Police were quickly on the scene and ambulances and private vehicles took the injured Hospital.
St John’s – February 23, 2009 Dominican youth murdered in Antigua
Steve Mingo was brutally shot down in Antigua.
A Dominican youth, Steve Mingo was murdered in Antigua over the weekend. According to police reports out of that country, Mingo was shot four times before collapsing and dying on the road.
The home of the 25-year-old had earlier been burglarized and jewelry and clothing items stolen. Mingo is believed to have seen another youth wearing his clothing and reported it to the police.
The same day of the report, he was confronted by two youths and shot at point blank range. Police later picked up the two men for questioning. The men, brothers, one aged 22-years-old and the other in his teens, remain in police custody assisting with the investigations into the incident.
Family members describe Mingo as very friendly and quiet and a young man who generally kept to himself. Mingo is just one of thousands of Dominicans who have migrated to Antigua in search of better job opportunities.
This is the fifth murder in Antigua for 2009.
St John’s – February 23, 2009 Dominican convicted on drug possession charge in ANtigua
Abishai Ettienne, 28, of Dominica who pleaded guilty to possession of 16 pounds of cannabis with an estimated street value of $32,000, has been fined in an Antigua court.
Chief Magistrate Ivan Walters imposed a $360,000 fine, subsequently reduced it by two-thirds on account of Ettienne pleading guilty and for his previous good behavior. Ettienne will now have to pay the government $120,000, $40,000 of which the court told him he must pay right away or serve an alternative 24-month prison sentence. The $80,000 balance should be paid by the end of April.
Ettienne was arrested last week along with two men from Antigua after they were observed boarding a vessel that had just arrived from Dominica.
Ettienne also pled not guilty to importation and possession with intent to supply, charges which were withdrawn after the prosecution offered no evidence.
Ettienne’s lawyer, Michael Archibald asked the court to lower the fine and made reference to the current prison population in Antigua. The magistrate will today entertain an application by Archibald as to why the court should reduce the fine. Ettienne was remanded until today.
Roseau – February 21, 2009 Karessah is Calypso Monarch and Kayan Toussaint Miss Dominica 2009
Gregory “Karessah” Riviere is the 2009 Calypso Monarch winning the competition from a strong field of ten finalists. The Pastor Rod proved to be the winning song for the night. First runner up was Observer followed by Tarina and Scrunter.
Miss Dominica 2009 is Kayan Toussaint of Pointe Michel. She won from a field of seven beautiful ladies. She also won awards for Best in Swimwear and Best in Evening Gown. An ecstatic Miss Dominica told the adoring crowd that “she prayed through each round, held her breath, and hoped for the best.” She also said that she will use her role as queen to fight child abuse in Pointe Michel. Placing second was Amye James of Grand Bay and in third place was Attainea Toulon of Roseau.
Miss Photogenic and Miss Amity was awarded to Wendy Glenville; Best Carnival Costume and Best in Carnival Costume went to Kayla Benjamin and Amye James was awarded with Best Evening Gown and Best Question Response.More
Roseau-February 21, 2009 Karessa is the 2009 Calypso Monarch
2009 Dominica calypso monarch De Karessa.
Gregory “Karessah” Riviere is the 2009 Calypso Monarch winning the competition from a strong field of ten finalists. The 'Pastor Rod' and 'Calypso:Too Patriotic' proved to be the winning songs for the night.
First runner up was Observer followed by Tarina and Scrunter.
Thousands of Dominicans were treated to a wonderful show at the Pottersville savanah.
The calypso finals is the last major competition leading up to the street jump up on Monday and Tuesday.
Baltimore-February 21, 2009
Baltimore man sentenced in illegal drug importation
A 45-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison yesterday for conspiracy to import cocaine and heroin into the United States from Barbados, Dominica and elsewhere, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.
In his plea agreement, Derrick "Prince" Gilliard admitted arranging the importation of more than 150 kilograms of cocaine or heroin, though he was convicted of importing much smaller amounts.
According to the government's sentencing memorandum, which calls Gilliard a "seasoned drug smuggler and businessman," he recruited couriers, typically young women, to take large amounts of money out of the country and return with kilograms of drugs, which were distributed in Baltimore and New York City.
The couriers made at least 200 trips to the islands from 2001 through February, importing at least 600 kilograms of cocaine and heroin into the United States; they were paid between $8,000 and $12,000 per trip.
St John’s – February 20, 2009 Antigua Police arrest three in drug bust
Police in Antigua have arrested and charged three men for possession of drugs. Twenty-eight-year-old Abisha Etienne of Dominica, and 26-year-old Chalicia Phillip and David Furlong of Antigua have been charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to transfer, importation and supplying.
Officers from the Narcotics Department in collaboration with the Customs Department, acting on a tip, intercepted their vessel, the Tamara Allane, which was docked at the local wharf having just arrived from Dominica.
After boarding the cargo boat, which brought agricultural produce from Dominica, police officers found five packages with the cannabis among the produce, weighing approximately 16 pounds.
The police subsequently executed a search warrant at the homes of Furlong and Phillip and two more wrapped packages containing cannabis weighing eight and a half pounds were found.
St Johns – February 19, 2009 West Indies squeak out a draw in third test against England
The West Indies squeaked out a draw in the third test match against England when play was halted with four overs to go because of bad light. The Windies had reached 370 for 9 after batting the entire day in search of 503 for victory.
In a rare display of West Indies batting discipline Ramnaresh Sarwan (106) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (55) batted the entire morning session and into the afternoon for a partnership of 148 to give the Windies a shot at drawing the game. However, it fell on Darren Powell and Fidel Edwards the last two batsmen to stave off 10 overs before the umpires called the game.
After winning the first test in convincing fashion, the West Indies must feel quite pleased with successfully batting for more than one day to save the test.
Scores in the match, West Indies 285 and 370 for 9; England 566 for 9 declared and 221 for 8 declared.
Pointe-a-Pitre February 19, 2009 France meets Guadeloupe demands
French Gendarmes face off against protestors in Pointe-a-Pitre.
France has agreed to increase payments to low-paid workers on its Caribbean territories, as it attempts to head off escalating protests and violence.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon proposed supplementing their wages with a 200-euro ($253; £176) monthly payment.
"I hope this will meet the demands for measures to address the high cost of living in the West Indies," he said. Rioting continued and 33 were arrested overnight on the island of Guadeloupe, where a man was killed this week.
A general strike over rising prices has crippled the island since 20 January. Shops and petrol stations have been shut, and rubbish has piled up on the streets.
A similar strike has taken hold on nearby Martinique.
President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to meet officials from the island in Paris on Thursday to take stock of the situation.
France has made some concessions to the strikers, but until Thursday had refused their main demand - that low-paid workers receive 200 euros a month to help them cope with spiralling prices.
But after all-night negotiations, Prime Minister Fillon said such an offer would be made to the Collective Against Exploitation (LKP), which has been leading the strikes on Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Pointe-a-Pitre February 18, 2009 French government orders more military police to Guadeloupe
French Gendarmes reenforcements are headed for Guadeloupe.
The violence in Guadeloupe continues to escalate as a young man was shot dead at one of several barricades set up by striking protestors in Point-a-Pitre.
Officials in Guadeloupe blamed the killing on youths who were manning the barricades and said it was not a s a result of their actions against the protestors.
Just yesterday, the mainly white police force (Gendarmes) clashed with the predominantly black protestors amidst allegations that the police were using racial slurs, referring to the protestors as dogs and niggers.
Meanwhile, the French government has ordered four military police units to Guadeloupe. The contingent of more than 260 Gendarmes will arrive in Guadeloupe by the end of this week.
The protesters have set up barricades all over the country, and schools, supermarkets, stores and other businesses remain closed. The protest action started on January 20 over demands for higher wages to meet the growing cost of living in the French overseas territories.
Just last week, 120 Gendarmes were ordered to Martinique whre protest action has since spread.
A French official said that it would take over 100 million Euros to meet the protestors demand. The French government appears to be adopting an increasing hard line against the protestors even as direct negotiations appear to have stalled.
Roseau – February 18, 2009 Prime Minister’s legal counsel responds to call for unity government
Senior counsel and lawyer for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is condemning a recent article by Maryland attorney Gabriel Christian in which he called for a unity government in Dominica.
Astaphan brushed off the suggestion of wrong doings by the Prime Minister saying that the Layou saga was inherited from the United Workers Party government.
According to Astaphan, “It is shameful that once again "a leader" in the Diaspora has seen it fit to jump on the back of some of the most jaundiced, dishonest and corrupt misrepresentations of information ever executed by any agent of political mischief." Read entire article and please comment
Salisbury – February 16, 2009 Police hold three for questioning in armed robberies
Police in Salisbury say they are holding three men for questioning in a spate of armed robberies that have rocked residents of the Western village.
Just last night, a masked man shot local businessman Matson Frederick in the arm in a botched robbery attempt as he returned with his wife from his place of business. He survived the attack and has since been released from hospital.
Earlier in the week, several people from that village were robbed by a masked individual wielding a cutlass (machete).
In response to the incidents, police stepped up their patrols and urged villagers to exercise caution.
Washington – February 16, 2009 Prominent Dominican lawyer calls for unity government
Prominent Maryland Attorney Gabriel Christian.
Prominent Maryland attorney, Dominican Gabriel Christian is calling for a unity government in Dominica. In an open letter to the people of Dominica published in theDominican.net, Christian called into question a series of actions taken by the ruling Dominica labour party (DLP) that he said has tarnished the country’s image.
According to Christian, This is not what we struggled for a lifetime to do; put persons lacking in ethics and lawful behavior in charge of our affairs. He called on members of the Cabinet to stand up and take a stance against this “unethical behavior.”
“Now, with increasing economic challenges, our government is distracted by lawsuits and allegations of corrupt dealings such as the sale of 700 Dominica passports for $100,000 via David Hsiu.”
“I say act now; take a stand and condemn corruption in public office. Separate yourselves from such behavior. Do not claim you did not know. We call on all Dominicans to support our call for a Unity and Progress Government which will bring all patriotic political forces - from all the parties - together. At a time of global economic meltdown we cannot afford leadership enmeshed in such distractions and allegations of wrongdoing which have not been rebutted with any degree of clarity or honesty.”
Roseau – February 11, 2009 Alison George acquitted of murder
Alison George with his mother on the courthouse steps minutes after being acquitted for murder (Photo courtesy www.dominicanewsonline.com)
In a dramatic verdict issued in the high court in Roseau, a six women and three men jury returned not guilty verdicts against 27 year old Alison George of Portsmouth. George was accused in the May 13, 2007 stabbing death of Akim George of Portsmouth over a cell phone dispute.
Defense for the accused Noelise Knight argued that this was a classic case of self defense where the accused, fearing for his life after been beaten by the deceased and his friend, took action.
The accused had earlier taken the stand and detailed how he was first falsely accused by Akim of stealing his cell phone and then after been beaten for a long time and fearing for his life he remembered he had a knife in his pocket and used it to stab the deceased one time in the abdomen.
The Prosecutor Gene Pestaina told the jury that George had exaggerated the story and was simply trying to get sympathy. In her turn before the jury, the defense counsel insisted that George had no choice and that it was very unfortunate that Akim had died. She then implored them to return a verdict of not guilty and allow her client to return to his mother and girlfriend.
In the end, the jury appeared to have gone for the self defense theory and returned not guilty verdicts for both murder and manslaughter, completely exonerating the accused.
Meanwhile, questions are been raised in Dominica about the seeming inability of the prosecution to get a guilty verdict for murder. This is the third time in a row that the government prosecution has failed to get guilty verdicts in the country’s high court.
Dominica has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of murders registering eight in 2008, and three already in 2009. The apparent rise in the murder rate prompted Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt to reject calls from Amnesty International and other human rights groups for Dominica to drop the death penalty.
Roseau – February 10, 2009 Ten including three ladies for calypso finals
When the 2009 calypso finals get underway on February 22, 2009 ten calypsonians will vie for the coveted crown. 2008 monarch De Dice will not be defending his crown this year opting out in support of his song writer Pat Aaron. See related
Three ladies: “Tarina” Simon, Marja “Lady Star” Jeffers, and Sherlyn “Sugar S” Dangleben will join three former monarchs, Andrew “Scrunter” Bazil, Derick “De Hunter” St Rose and Davidson “De Observer” Victor. The other four finalists are Julian “Pickey” Lockhart, Gregory “Karessa” Riviere, Murphy “Sye” Jno Jules, and Albert “Man Himself” Mendes.
Pointe-a-Pitre – February 10, 2009 Hucksters feel effect of Guadeloupe strike action
Hucksters in Dominica are feeling the effects of an ongoing strike in the neighboring French island. Since January 20, 2009, workers in Guadeloupe have literally shut down the country with a series of strike action.
Shops, schools, public transportation and the ports are all shut down as workers protest the high cost of living in that country and demand wage increases.
As the strike drags on, hucksters from Dominica have been unable to get their produce to Guadeloupe. President of the Dominica Hucksters Association Cecil Joseph said that the strike is bringing tremendous hardship to the nation’s hucksters who rely heavily on selling fresh agriculture produce to the neighboring French islands.
With the supermarkets closed, hucksters are unable to receive payment for previous sales and cannot enter into any new contracts with the closure of the ports.
In addition to the hucksters, thousands of Dominicans are employed in Guadeloupe and the prolonged strike action is said to be already having some impact on the remittances sent back from this country to Dominica.
Meanwhile, the strike drags on, and a special French representative from Paris who had earlier vowed to remain in Guadeloupe until the strike action ended left that island yesterday without any solution in sight.
Petite Savanne – February 9, 2009 MP Urban Baron announces plans to retire from politics
Member of Parliament for the Petite Savanne constituency Urban Baron is calling it quits after more than twenty years in active politics.
Baron who served in different capacities under the Pierre Charles and Roosevelt Skerrit government said that he was prepared to pass on the baton after serving his community for more than two decades.
He described his time in politics as very rewarding and pointed to his contribution to better the lives of the people in his constituency.
The announcement comes even as the next general elections is constitutionally due in May 2010. His resignation poses a significant problem to the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP), which now has to find a replacement.
This is the second elected official from the DLP who have announced he will not contest the next general election. Late last year, health minister John Fabien announced plans to step down before the next election.
The decision of the two MPs have increased speculation that the DLP is facing an uphill battle to retain the longer serving members of that party. Many have pointed to differences over the rule of Prime Ministers Roosevelt Skerrit as the main reason for the resignations.
Another long time party stalwart, deputy political leader of the DFP Ambrose George, representative in the Newtown constituency, is also not expected to contest the next election. He was fired late last year by prime minister Skerrit over an off shore banking scandal.
New York – February 3, 2009 Dominica Contends for NBC’s Matt Lauer Visit
Dominicans and friends of Dominica are voting in large numbers trying to get Matt Lauer of NBC television to visit that country.
NBC is trying to decide where in the world Matt Lauer will travel to in 2009 by asking viewers to send in their reasons for him to visit a particular country. The show is one of the most popular television programs and draws millions of viewers.
Meanwhile, thousands of Dominicans have been voting in a related contest where NBC is asking viewers to guess where he will go next. As of February 6, 2009 more than 57 000 persons had participated and Dominica was third with 10 percent of the total online votes behind Latvia and St Lucia.
Some Latin American presidents paid tribute to Simon Bolivar, during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Venezuelan Revolution following President Hugo Chavez presidential win on Feb. 2 1999.
"The essence of Bolivar reemerged in our people 10 years ago, Chavez expressed before placing a wreath at the Pantheon, a famous burial place where the entire central nave is dedicated to Simon Bolivar.
Presidents Evo Morales (Bolivia), Manuel Zelaya (Honduras) and Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Cuban First Vice Minister Jose Ramon Machado Ventura officially attended the ceremony.
These Presidents and Ecuadorian Rafael Correa to join them later will participate at the Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of America (ALBA).
Chavez has been campaigning hard in favor of the referendum, which he called for in November, a week after candidates he backed won a majority of seats in local elections seen as a test of his influence.
Skerrit brushed aside the possibility that Chavez might lose. "I want to say to you, my friends in Venezuela, that we will be back to celebrate the 20th, the 30th, the 40th and the 50th anniversary of President Chavez in office," he told Chavez supporters who braved a steady downpour to hear him. "Chavez forever!" What do you think of the Prime Minister’s remarks, ALBA? Please comment
Kingston- February 3, 2009 Drugs Discovered in Jamaica Consigned to Dominica
Compressed marijuana destined for Dominica.
The Customs Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) of Kingston, Jamaica has unearthed illegal drugs at the Central Sorting Office in Kingston.
Earlier Monday, the team discovered approximately six kilograms of compressed marijuana and six kilograms of marijuana seeds at the CSO hidden in two consignments destined for Dominica and Trinidad.
The first package was consigned to Dominica declared as cheese, bun and crackers.
Upon examination, six cans were discovered to contain compressed marijuana, weighing approximately one kilogramme each.
The other package headed for Trinidad had been declared as containing food items.
However, two cans were found with three kilos of marijuana seeds.
Over the past two weeks the CET has made sic seizures of approximately 38 kilogrammes of cocaine and three kilogrammes of marijuana across the island.
Commissioner of Customs, Danville Walker says the Department has increased its vigilance at the ports of entry to intercept all contraband in order to discourage smugglers.
Roseau – February 2, 2009 PM Says No to Removal of Death Penalty
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt has said that his government will under no circumstances remove the death penalty as a form of punishment for murder and treason.
The Dominican leader was quoted as saying “we are not prepared to remove the death penalty from the books.” He pointed to the rising wave of violence on the Island and the need to have a strong deterrent in place as reasons for his decision.
Skeritt chided large rich countries and human rights groups for inserting pressure on his country to remove the death sentence. According to Skeritt while it might be a good thing for large countries to do away with the death penalty, for small countries like Dominica, one murder was too many and having the death penalty in place was serving a good purpose.
He went on to describe situations such as a person killing children in school, or shooting up a family or other such violent acts that could qualify for death.
The Prime Minister also called for stricter sentences from the courts for violent crime. While saying that he did not wish to interfere with the working of the court system, the Prime Minister lamented the seeming light sentences that have been given in the recent past for violent crime, saying “it is time we get serious about fighting crime.”
More recently, Dominica has seen an upsurge in violent crime and murder and a few people who were brough before the courts have been set free.
Dominica last imposed the death sentence on August 9, 1986 when former commander of the Dominica Defense Force Fredrick Newton was hanged for his role in the 1983 attempted overthrow of the Eugenia Charles government. Five other defense force officers who were also sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to live imprisonment.
Roseau-January 29, 2009 Another Dominican turns 100
Dominica’s latest centenarian is Nora Victor Charles of Dublanc. Born on January 29, 1909, Mrs. Charles expressed her gratitude to God for allowing her to see 100.
Surrounded by family, friends and well wishers, the centenarian said that she felt well except for some pain in her joints. Asked whether she would like to see many more years she laughed and said: “ years,?”.
A mass presided over by Bishop Malzaire will be held in her honor this Sunday and will be attended by government officials.
Roseau-January 28, 2009 Dominica’s Oldest Living Person Turns 110
Dominica’s oldest living person turned 110 today. Violet Joseph of Roseau who was born at the turn of the twentieth century on January 28, 1899 attributes her longevity to God and having lived a good life surrounded by her loving family.
Mrs. Joseph is in good health will take the occasional stroll in the streets of Roseau.
About eighteen other Dominicans are over the age of 100, making Dominica the country with the highest prevalence of centenarians in the world, well over three times that of Western countries.
Roseau – January 27, 2009 UWP Stages Protest Action
Ron Green United Workers Party leader.
The executive committee of the United Workers Party (UWP) along with party leader Ron Green staged a protest earlier today to appeal for electoral reform.
Committee members held placards and matched outside the office of the Electoral Commission to protest what they said was the failure of the Commission to move forward with electoral reform.
Green later told a press conference that nothing had been done by the Commission since Parliament approved a budgetary allocation that was supposed to go towards revamping and updating the electoral list and providing identity cards for the next general elections constitutionally due in may 2010.
“The electoral Commission has to do its work,” Green said adding that “our democracy is under threat, and it is absolutely essential that the electoral commission act, and do what they are supposed to do.”
Edison James, a former Prime Minister of Dominica and leader of the party added his voice to the debate stressing that it was imperative for all parties to have “equal access to state media,” and that the country is witnessing a political process that “is completely devoid of fairness.”
The Electoral Commission did not immediately respond to the UWP accusations.
Roseau – January 27, 2009 Cabinet Meets With Roman Catholic Clergy
Dominica’s Cabinet today met with leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, including Bishop Gabriel Malzaire to discuss several issues affecting the country.
Top on the list was the escalating level of youth violence and crime that is now plaguing the country. Bishop Malzaire said that he expressed the church’s concern with Cabinet on the number of unsolved murders on the island as well as ways in which the church and government could collaborate on tackling the problem.
Conditions at the State prison were also discussed and Bishop Malzaire noted that he had submitted a proposal to government for working to rehabilitate prisoners rather than simply having them incarcerated.
Other matters discussed at the meeting included the Noise Abatement Act , vagrants on the streets of Roseau, the mass media, and setting an appropriate day for a National day of prayer.
Marigot-January 23, 2009 Armed robber makes off with large sum of money
An armed man wearing a mask staged a brazen daylight robbery in Marigot earlier today. At around 4:25 P M, the man entered the offices of a construction firm Edgehill Ltd and made good his escape with a large sum of cash.
The assailant was chased by workers of the company who at the time were receiving their paychecks, but was able to make good his escape. Edgehill Ltd is performing construction works at the Melville Hall airport.
Meanwhile, Police have reported the arrest of two men, one from Portsmouth and the other from Goodwill, for possession of marijuana. The two were apprehended by the Portsmouth Police with more than 11 pounds of marijuana and US $2 000. The Police also seized the vehicle that they were driving.
The men are scheduled to go before a magistrate in Roseau on Monday.
Grand Bay – January 22, 2009 Gunman goes on shooting rampage in Grand Bay
Linka Peters was killed by her boyfriend before he turned the gun on himself (Photo courtesy Dominicanewsonline.com).
Two women are fighting for their lives at the Princess Margaret Hospital after a gunman went on a shooting rampage in the Southern village of Grand Bay. Another woman, 22 year-old Linka Peters was killed along with the gunman who turned the gun on himself.
Twenty-seven year old Brad Johnville of Grand Bay, the reported shooter is said to have become despondent after police destroyed over 250 000 marijuana trees purportedly belonging to him.
The father of one of the injured women told a local radio station that his daughter, Gayle Registe was resting on a wall close to her home and was talking to her friend when the gunman walked up to them and without saying a word, opened fire hitting both of them. He then turned and walked away.
Later, Police found his body with a self inflicted gunshot wound and the body of his girlfriend Linka Peters.
News of the shooting comes as police informed the public that a gun amnesty announced last year had failed and that only two guns were turned in to Police. There is increasing concern in Dominica about the use of firearms in the committing of violent crimes. However, of the seven murders committed last year most of the victims were killed by persons wielding cutlasses (machetes).
According to Police Deputy Commissioner Cyrille Carette, most of the illegal guns in Dominica are owned by persons who use it to guard their drugs. Earlier this month, police arrested twelve persons in Goodwill, and found cocaine, marijuana and a large quantity of ammunition in their possession.
This latest shooting incident is by far the most violent in the country’s history.
Grand Bay-January 22, 2009 Murder Suicide in Grand Bay
One of the gun shot victims, Noreen being taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital (Photo courtesy Dominicanewsonline.com).
Police are reporting the death of a young man from Grand Bay who earlier shot three people, one of whom later died. Twenty-seven year old Brad Johnville of Grand Bay apparently committed suicide after shooting his girlfriend and two other ladies from the village.
Twenty-two year old Linka Peters, the girlfriend of Johnville was pronounced dead at the Princess Margaret Hospital. The two other shooting victims Gayle Registe and a woman only identified as Noreen have both been hospitalized nursing multiple gunshot wounds. They are said to be both in a stable condition.
Whilst information on the reason for the shooting is still sketchy, there is speculation that Johnville may have been linked to the recent seizure and destruction by Police of more than EC $ 20 million worth of marijuana plants.
As yet unconfirmed reports indicate that Johnville may have become despondent after the police destroyed the drugs and that his girlfriend was attempting to get him to either turn himself in to the police or at the very least to keep him from committing suicide.
Johnville, who is well known in the village of Grand Bay has been described as a troubled young man who dropped out of high school for a life of drug dealing.
Johnville and Linka Peters are parents to a young son, Jaheil Johnville.
Police are continuing their investigations and are asking for the community to come forward with information that could help in sorting out the entire affair.
Meanwhile, the public are raising concerns about the Police failure to make arrests in the biggest drug bust in Dominica’s history. More than 250 000 marijuana plants were destroyed with a street value of EC $ 20 million.
Roseau-January 20, 2009 Murder rate continues to rise police appeal for help
Last year, Dominica recorded a dramatic increase in the number of recorded murders with a record seven (7), and this year does not bode well. Already, police are reporting the murder of two individuals during the month of January; one in Grand Bay and the other in the heights of Calibishie. Four in any one year was the previous high.
Newly appointed Deputy Police commissioner Cyrille Carrette is calling on the public to be more forth coming in assisting the police in their investigations. Carrette said that the murder in Calibishie was particularly gruesome and so far there are no firm leads.
He however confirmed that members of the public in Grand Bay had provided some useful information to help in making a n arrest but much more was required. He lamented the unwillingness of persons to come forward with information and urged them to do in the interest of the general public.
Roseau-January 20, 2009 Prime Minister Skeritt appoints acting police chief
Prime minister Roosevelt Skeritt has announced the appointment of Deputy Police Commissioner Hobbs JnoBaptiste to act as Police Commissioner following the retirement of Matthias Lestrade.
Jno Baptiste who is from the village of Cockrane and a veteran of the Dominica Police Force will act until a permanent replacement is named. In the meantime, Superintendent Cyrille Carette has been elevated to the position of Acting Police Commissioner and will act for the same period as the acting commissioner.
Roseau-January 20, 2009 Festival Committee Chairman calls for dialogue on Carnival date
Chairman of the Dominica Festival Commission (DFC) Val Cuffy has said that now is the time for the dialogue to begin on setting a date for the staging of carnival.
Many in Dominica have been pushing for a change in Dominica’s carnival date since it coincides with the Trinidad carnival.
Cuffy cited this as one of the main reasons why the date should be shifted since the island was competing with some of the same regional tourists who travel to Trinidad for carnival.
Those proposing to keep the date point to the long tradition that goes with holding carnival early in the year. However, the festival has failed to draw the kind of large crowds and the DFC chairman hopes that by moving the date it would become more attractive.
Several years ago, St Lucia moved their celebrations from around that same time to a date in the May.
Roseau – January 16, 2009 Police Destroy Over EC $ 20 Million in Drugs, Make Arrests
Police in Dominica are reporting that they have destroyed over 250 000 fully grown marijuana plants with a street value of more than EC $ 20 million (US $ 7.5 million).
The drugs were discovered in the heights of Syndicate and covered an area of about 3.5 acres. No arrests has been made, and investigations are continuing.
Meanwhile, police executed three warrants on drug related issues in the Goodwill area, and arrested 12 individuals, 9 males and 3 females ranging in age from 18 – 45.
The nine were charged with various drug offenses and fined by a local magistrate.
Salisbury-January 13, 2008 Government to make $131 000 available for housing in Salisbury constituency
Julius Timothy acting Prime Minister.
Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Julius Timothy announced that Government has allocated $131,000 to go towards housing assistance to the people of the Salisbury constituency, in keeping with a promise made by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit on government’s housing revolution.
The announcement comes just days after government promised over $1 million to residents of the Roseau South constituency for housing.
The Minister added that the Council would need to identify persons in the community who are in need of housing assistance. Hon. Timothy also stressed the importance of the Council working well with the Government in light of the fact that the current Parliamentary Representative for the Salisbury constituency, former Leader of the United Workers Party, Hon. Earl Williams has been out of State for several months after reports surfaced that he had misused substantial sums from some clients in his legal practice.
His address, which was delivered before the fifteenth inaugural meeting of the Coulibistrie/Morne Rachette Village Council also saw the swearing in of eight councillors, five elected, three nominated , they are: Ruby Joyce, Davis Laudat, Hettie Laudat, Marilyn Pascal, Michelle Shillingford, Lloyd Jno Baptiste, Thaddeus Laudat and Euta Toulon.
The President of Dominica, His Excellency, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool and Mrs. Liverpool, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Mrs. Ruth Alport and Acting Local Government Commissioner, Mrs. Claudine Roberts also attended the inaugural meeting.
Roseau-January 12, 2009 Female cricketer looks to join West Indies team
Pearle hopes to be included in the West indies cricket team.
Pearl Ettienne one of Dominica’s foremost female cricketers has been selected to undergo a training program in Barbados slated for January 21-31, where a female cricket team will be picked to play Australia later this year. The team will also play against England in a 20-20 tournament.
The all rounder female cricketer is optimistic of her chances and views her inclusion in the tryouts as being good for the development of the sport on Dominica.
The 26-year old cricketer is currently working on batting and bowling skills, and if selected will become the first Dominican woman cricketer to make the West Indies side. She is coached by Bonnell Henderson who is helping in her preparation for the West Indies team selection.
Roseau–January 12, 2008
Fuel prices to fall further
On Tuesday, January 13, 2009, the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica will cut the price of gasoline by 8.8% or 80 cents to $8.29 a gallon due to a drop in global oil prices.
The diesel price will also fall by 12.9% or $1.30 to $8.74 a gallon to take effect on the same day, while the price of kerosene will decrease by 15.7% or $1.39 to $7.44 a gallon.
This is the seventh consecutive occasion that prices for petroleum products in Dominica have been reduced. These are the lowest prices for gasoline, diesel and gasoline in Dominica since January, 2004.
In August of 2008, gasoline prices peaked at $15.69 per gallon, and diesel and kerosene at $15.97 and $14.87 per gallon respectively.
Roseau – January 10, 2009 Dominican Wins US $ 1 million in LIME Promotion
Lucille Worrel, Dominica's newest millionaire.
In a one of its kind promotion never before seen in Dominica, Lucille Worrell of Fond Cole won US $ 1 million in a sales promotion organized by LIME, Dominica.
An ecstatic Lucille, burst into tears when she was told that she had received the almost EC$ 3 million prize. The Western Union employee said that she offered up a prayer of thanks to God, without whom nothing is possible.
The Dominican millionaire says that she will give some of the money to her church, set some aside for her son’s education, and build herself a new home. She will also continue to work.
The $1 million prize was the culmination of a regional-wide Christmas competition organized by LIME were persons signing up for new service received weekly prizes including plasma TVs and other electronic appliances. The winner could have been selected from any of the 13 eligible countries.
New York – January 9, 2009 Dominica no longer on the wrong side of history on Palestinian question
As fighting raged in the Middle East with Israel’s unrelenting attacks in the Gaza, the United Nations passed a resolution entitled “Peaceful Settlement of the Palestine Question” by a margin of 164-7.
The resolution has been voted on every year since 1989, and like in most other years, the result has been the same: the whole world on one side; Israel, the United States and some South Sea atolls and Australia on the other side.
However, when the resolution was first voted on in 1989, Dominica stunned the rest of the world and voted itself into infamy when the Eugenia Charles government sided with Israel and the United States in a 151-to-3 vote against the resolution.
This week, even as the resolution was once again passed, most newspapers and commentators made reference to that infamous day in 1989 when Dominica sided against the rest of the world in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Thankfully, the inexplicable blunder has not been repeated and Dominica has every year since voted with the majority in the call for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question.
The resolution among other things calls for the withdrawal of Israel from occupied Palestinian territories and for the United Nations Secretary General to continue to pursue a peaceful resolution to the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the Middle East.
Roseau – January 7, 2009 Dominican to Head Major Telecommunication Company
Jeffrey Baptiste Country Manager of LIME Dominica.
Dominican Jeffrey Baptiste has been appointed Country Manager of the LIME communication company. The 38 year old replaces Nabeel Bhatti who served as Chief Executive Officer of Cable and Wireless and Country Manager when the company re branded to LIME in October 2008.
Baptiste, who previously served as account manager and Vice President of sales in Cable and Wireless says his main focus will be on better serving his customers.
LIME Dominica, previously Cable and Wireless Dominica has seen a steady decline in their market share as first DIGICEL then the French communication company ORANGE set up shop in Dominica and began to woo away customers with aggressive sales efforts.
Cable and Wireless virtually lost out to DIGICEL in the Jamaica market and that must have been weighing heavily on the mind of the new Chief Executive as he addressed the local press. According to Baptiste, “There’s still a lot of ground to cover and we’ve gotten that feedback from a lot of the customers on the ground that whereas they appreciate the fact that we have the best pool of services in the market, we have not always been responsive in the manner that our customers expect.”
Baptiste is just the second Dominica to head the international communication company in Dominica, the other being Ian Blanchard who currently heads LIME Grenada.
Roseau – January 7, 2009 Government to Build Homes in Roseau South Constituency
The government of Dominica has made over half a million dollars available for building houses in the Roseau South Constituency.
Chairman of the government Housing Loans Board and President of the Dominica Labour Party Roseau South Constituency Association Felix Thomas said a that a total of 56 houses will be constructed with building assistance provided by members of the community.
The homes are expected to be completed in March of 2009 at which time government is expected to make a further half million dollars available for the building of more structures.
No information was given on who are the persons selected to receive the homes. This program is part of government’s ongoing efforts to provide affordable housing for Dominicans with assistance from Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, under its housing revolution.
Roseau – December 28, 2008 Three year ban for national cricket player
National player Devin Challenger has been banned by the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA) for three years for assaulting another player during the Digicel Premier Division final between defending champions Desiderata Tremors and the Police Sports Club.
During the luncheon interval on the final day of the match, Challenger, the captain of the Police Sports Club, physically assaulted teammate and national player Jamie Jno Baptiste, which resulted in the opening batsman being hospitalised and nursing a broken jaw.
Stockfarm – December 23, 2008 Eric ‘Zai’ Joseph Free After 25 Years
Eric 'Zai" Joseph is all smiles following his release after 25 years at the Stockfarm prison.
Parole Board officials in Dominica has freed Eric ‘Zai’Joseph from prison after he served 25 years for the murder of Giraudel farmer Ted Honychurch, father of noted Dominican historian Lennox Honychurch.
In the summer of 1983, the then 30 year old Joseph was found guilty for the 1981 slaying of Honychurch following his abduction by a group of Dreads headed by one of the country’s most wanted fugitives Leroy ‘Pokosion’ Etienne.
Joseph confessed to shooting Honychurch just days after he was kidnapped along with his wife, cook and gardener, all of whom were later released. According to his testimony, Joseph shot Honychurch after he killed one of his kidnappers in a failed bid to escape. His body was later burnt.
Weeks after the killing, Joseph was found severely injured and close to death in the area around Boetica after allegedly falling in a precipice and being left by his fellow Dreads.
At his 1983 trial, he was originally sentenced to hang but it was commuted to life in prison in 1993 by Attorney General Jenner Armour whose law firm had previously represented Joseph.
Upon his release several callers to local radio stations hailed the former Dread as a hero for having bucked the establishment.
In commenting on his release, Psychiatrist Dr Griffin Benjamin noted that "He now has the task of creating a new identity for himself. Is he a hero? Is he a felon? These are some of the questions he must now ask himself,"
Roseau – December 17, 2008 Prime Minister Skeritt Expresses Dissatisfaction with Caribbean Free Movement
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt has been voicing his concern about the pace and execution of the free movement of persons within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The Prime Minister’s comments come just days after Barbadian Prime Minister Thompson said that he had no objections to people from CARICOM coming to work in Barbados but that they would need to wait for a call before coming, because Barbadians should be considered first for any jobs in that country.
Skeritt while refusing to criticize his Barbadian counterpart said that the spirit of the CARICOM agreement was to allow CARICOM nationals to move freely within the region in search of job opportunities.
He said further that this issue should be included in the agenda for the next summit of CARICOM leaders.
The Dominican leader is charged with the responsibility of overseeing implementation of this CARICOM policy.
Salisbury – December 17, 2008 Possible Bi-Election in Salisbury Community
Former leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Edison James is not ruling out a bi-election in the Salisbury constituency early next year.
His comments come in the wake of increasing pressure from Salisbury constituents for the party to take action following what they consider the abandonment of his responsibilities by former UWP leader Earl Williams.
Williams left the state several months ago after abruptly resigning the leadership position of his party following two allegations of the misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars of his clients’ money.
The Dominican lawyer is reported to be residing in New York as he seeks to exonerate himself from the charges.
James told hundreds of supporters at a rally in Salisbury that he could envisage a reelection if Williams resigned or if he missed three consecutive sittings of parliament without a valid reason.
Angry villagers had earlier demanded the removal of Williams and new elections.